About The Book
Book 2: Seven Forbidden Arts Series
Author: Charmaine Pauls
Publisher: Mélange Books
Publication Date: July 6, 2015
Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance
Format: eBook / ePub / PDF
Preorder Book Buy Links: Publication Date: July 6, 2015
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/aeromancist-charmaine-pauls/1122220463?ean=2940151997492
Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE
Passion always comes with a price.
All he could offer was thirty days of passion.
He condemned her to a terrible fate instead.
Now he’ll do everything in his power to save her.
He is known as the Weatherman. Lann Dréan is the last of his kind. A price on his head, chased for a power he should not possess, he can’t promise any woman forever. All he can offer Katherine White is thirty days of passion. But his uncontainable desire comes with an unforeseen price. Lann’s lust will cost Kat everything. Now he’ll do anything to save her from the fate he has brought upon her.
* This book contains adult content with explicit language and frequent, consummated love scenes, including light bondage, sex toys and breath play. Reader discretion is advised.
From the expression on Lann’s face, Kat knew he hadn’t expected her. Alfonso hadn’t warned him of her visit. Lann sat behind his desk, very similar to the first time they had met, but this time he was in the library, and not in his office. He had probably been working on the restoration of his ancient books, because he wore his glasses. Removing them, he immediately got to his feet. The air felt lighter, as it always did in his presence. Wisps of her hair lifted as if to an invisible caress, but Lann didn’t acknowledge the subtle dance of molecules this time.
As always he looked impeccable in tailored pants and a white dress shirt. He stood immobile, exerting calm, waiting for her to make the first move. Kat had never been fooled about the latent danger that lurked under his quiet sophistication and intellectual air. There was a raw energy about Lann that hinted at his wildness, even as his exterior was polished civility.
“Alfonso showed me in,” she said.
“Katherine.” His lips lifted in the corner, exposing his dimple.
Her heart broke at his smile. It was the one he reserved for other people. Never for her. It was automatic, a practiced social stance, and she hated it.
Hers was faint in return. She glanced at the employees who were handling his books with protective gloves. “May we speak in private, please?”
He frowned. “Let’s go to my office.”
He led the way. At least he hadn’t thrown her out on sight. She was walking the familiar path she believed she’d never walk again. The air gathered around his ankles as he moved, lapping at her feet as she followed in his wake. She had never felt it stronger, and yet, it should have been the reverse. She was supposed to be cutting the tie, not strengthening it, dammit.
Inside his office he almost took a military stance, his shoulders straight, his arms behind his back, as if keeping them there would prevent him from touching her. But his eyes were filled with warmth and concern.
“Katherine, I didn’t tell you I was back because I didn’t want to make it harder on you.”
He didn’t owe her an explanation. She agreed to his terms. With her eyes wide open.
“I came back to take care of the money,” he continued. “When Alfonso told me you returned everything–”
“I don’t want your money.”
“You can live in comfort. Why struggle, if I have enough to share?”
“Because it wasn’t part of our agreement,” she snapped. She took a calming breath. “Because it’ll make me feel like a prostitute.”
His expression was incredulous as he considered the statement, but after a moment he inclined his head. “Of course. I respect your decision.”
“Lann…” She chewed her lip, thinking of the best way to tell him. Hadn’t she practiced her line a million times? “I wouldn’t have broken our agreement if it wasn’t necessary.”
He stared at her expectantly. There was no easy way to break the news.
He froze. The heat evaporated from his gaze. His upper arms flexed as he clasped his hands behind his back. She couldn’t tell if he was mad or disappointed. Either way, neither was the reaction she was hoping for.
The silence stretched between them. For a while he seemed incapable of speaking or moving. Only his eyes lowered and rested on her abdomen.
“It’s impossible,” he finally said.
She opened her handbag, retrieved the blood test results and offered it to him shakily. Lann lifted one hand from behind his back and took the piece of paper. Kat watched him closely as he read it. His eyes widened and narrowed again. She presumed he was looking at the age of the child growing inside of her, doing the calculation in his mind. Emotions she couldn’t place played across his face. Was it sadness, envy, anger that made him press his lips so tightly together? Finally, he lifted his head. She didn’t like the way he looked at her.
He handed her back the report. “Congratulations.” His voice was impersonal. “Who’s the father?”
The words punched the air from Kat’s lungs with the same ferocity as when he had cut her airflow during lovemaking. Then it had given her an earth-shattering orgasm. Now it caused her pain, with the same intensity. She couldn’t believe he said that. Hurt and anger blurred her vision. She drew back her hand, and before she could stop herself, she slapped him. She took a step away from him, biting back the tears. The trace of her fingers lay red across his pale cheek. Lann accepted her abuse with a stoic expression, without uttering a word.
“You bastard,” she whispered. “You needn’t feign your innocence by insulting me. Are you afraid I’ll ask you for child support? Do you think I expect you to play an unwilling role in this baby’s life? Maybe you think I’ll try to emotionally blackmail you into marrying me.” She clutched her bag to her chest like a shield. “I didn’t come here expecting anything from you. I want nothing. I only came because you had a right to know.” She took a ragged breath. “And to ask why you lied to me.”
When he still didn’t speak, she nodded slowly, the unwelcome tears threatening to find their way to her cheeks. He wasn’t going to offer any explanation, any solace, any excuse.
“I see,” she said. “Then we have nothing more to say to each other.”
She turned for the door, but Lann’s voice halted her. “Please stay. You’re upset. I’ll take you home when you feel calmer.”
To her dismay, a small gasp escaped her. Did he honestly think she’d stay after what he just said? Not looking back, she ran downstairs, not caring that Lann was calling after her loud enough for the building to hear, or that his employees were staring at her from the library window.
Seven Forbidden Arts – The goth pop genre defined
I classify my new Seven Forbidden Arts series, as well as most of my other novels, as goth pop romance. Some vendors place the series under the paranormal banner, which has absorbed the modern gothic novel to an extent, while others list it as erotic romance. Although the stories contain both paranormal and erotic romance elements, the genre I like to coin as goth pop categorizes these books most accurately.
What is goth pop romance? As goth pop music is a hybrid between the haunting lyrics of gothic music and the catchy melodies of pop music (such as The Cure, which happens to be one of my all-time favorite goth rock bands), goth pop fiction is the current-day, popular version of gothic romance literature.
‘Pop’ or ‘popular’ is self-explanatory. The term suggests literature that is appealing and accessible to a large audience. In marketing terminology this broad following can be referred to as a mass market. In other words, the genre’s reach in terms of general appeal is wide. The main aim of popular literature it to entertain. For this reason, pop literature is sometimes also described as commercial literature.
The term ‘goth’ or ‘gothic’ is derived from the medieval buildings in which many of these stories take place. Gothic literature strives to evoke a strong emotional response from the reader, the focus often being on fear. Setting and ambience are crucial elements of the Gothic novel. Subject matters include the supernatural, mystery and madness. To grasp a clear understanding of the Gothic genre, it is important to know its origin and historical development.
The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole, first published in 1764, is considered as the first Gothic novel. This style of extreme Romanticism that was popular in England and Germany at the time, led to the German Schauerroman and the French roman noir. Ann Radcliffe created the Byronic hero as the brooding, Gothic villain in A Sicilian Romance in 1790, as well as developed the explained supernatural plot. By the Victorian era, most critics dismissed Gothic as Sir Walter Scott popularized historical romance. At the same time, readers reconsidered overlooked Penny Blood serial fictions by authors such as G.W.M. Reynolds, creator of the Gothic horror trilogy, Faust (1846), Wagner the Wehr-wolf (1847) and The Necromancer (1857). Reynolds’ The Mysteries of London contributed to the development of the Urban as a Victorian Gothic setting. Edgar Allan Poe reinterpreted the Gothic with his focus on the psychology of his characters instead of on the traditional elements of Gothic stories. Madness was one of his major themes. Byronic Romanticism influenced the work of Poe, as well as the writing of the Brontë sisters. Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights (1847) includes Gothic elements such as the eerie Moors, ghosts, and Heathcliff as the Byronic hero. The Brontës' novels are examples of the Female Gothic that explores women's submissive entrapment. Emily's Cathy and Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre are examples of female protagonists in such a role. Charles Dickens incorporated the atmosphere and drama of the Gothic style in his work and modernized the genre with a contemporary urban setting in his novels Oliver Twist (1837), Bleak House (1854) and Great Expectations (1860).
The Gothic genre reached a new height in the 1880s with the fin de siècle and questions arising regarding ethical degeneration and social casts. Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886) and Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891) are classic examples of the New Urban Gothic of this epoch. Bram Stoker gave birth to the most famous Gothic villain ever, Count Dracula in his novel Dracula (1897). With this book, Stoker also set Transylvania and Eastern Europe as the Gothic stage. Another Gothic classic from the early twentieth century is Gaston Leroux’s novel The Phantom of the Opera (1909).
Pulp magazines such as Weird Tales reprinted and popularized Gothic horror from the prior century. New Gothic Romances became popular during the 50s to the 70s, featuring authors such as Phyllis A. Whitney, Joan Aiken, Dorothy Eden, Victoria Holt, Barbara Michaels, Mary Stewart, and Jill Tattersall. Covers often depicted a scantily clad, terror-stricken woman in front of a gloomy castle with a single lit window.
Many modern writers of horror, such as Anne Rice and Stephen King, include Gothic elements in their work. Thomas M. Disch’s novel The Priest (1994) was subtitled A Gothic Romance, and was partly modeled on Matthew Lewis' The Monk. Daphne du Maurier set the Romantic strand of Gothic in Rebecca (1938). Du Maurier's work inspired the Female Gothics with heroines that swooned over terrifying, wealthy Byronic heroes with a droit du seigneur, capturing the essence of the female sexual fantasy of male power, which is also present in some modern dark romance novels. Female Gothic permitted the introduction of feminine societal and sexual desires into Gothic texts.
J. R. Boyett coined the term Steampunk Gothica to refer to the use of the Gothic literary style in the Steampunk genre. While his work is influenced by period works such as Carmilla by Sheridan Le Fanu and The Vampyre by John William Polidori, his setting of a Steampunk Renaissance reflects the speculative and fantastic elements of authors such as H.G. Wells and Jules Verne.
To conclude, here is a list of elements that characterize Gothic literature. The specific element as found in Aeromancist, Book 3 of the Seven Forbidden Arts series, are included in brackets:
· Virginal maiden (Katherine White, although not technically a virgin, she is virginal in her morality and values)
· Older, foolish woman (Katherine’s mother, Felicity)
· Hero (Lann Dréan, Russian aeromancist)
· Villain (Godfrey, the man who wants to take over global communication companies to force a dark age of communication via total control)
· Evil characters (the perverse vampires of Vamp Valley in Paris; the gila shifters, David and Daniel; Godfrey’s adoptive son, Adam)
· Clergy (Marie, the Breton midwife)
· Night journeys (Katherine being lost in the alleys of Paris, alone at night, and several journeys thereafter)
· Madness (Nicolas, the blood son of Godfrey, in the wronged hunchback scenario; Godfrey himself; and Adam being the crazy cherry on the cake)
· Miraculous survivals (can’t say too much in fear of giving away spoilers, but yes, there are some!)
· Supernatural powers (Lann as aeromancist, Clelia as pyromancist, Maya as hydromancist, Joss as blood taster)
· Fear (Plenty!)
· Psychological overlay (Lots, i.e. Katherine being lost in Paris is a metaphor for her state of mind)
· Setting (Franciscan Monastery; dilapidated cathedral and bell tower; modern sinister glass clinic; the Josselin Castle in the village of Josselin, Brittany, France; a deserted hotel with red paint peeling from the walls in a dark alley in Paris; a misty forest; a grey lake; etc. – all of these are real, existing locations)
Setting is an important element of the Gothic novel and deserves a paragraph of its own. Not only does it create ambience, but is also a character in itself. Gothic literature is intimately associated with the Gothic Revival architecture of the same era. This trend of using Gothic architecture began with the Castle of Otranto and became a major element of the genre from that point on. Examples of Gothic settings include castles, monasteries, graveyards, and abbeys or other religious buildings. The Gothic landscape is surrounded by mystery, legends and secrets. The backdrop evokes feelings of gloom and fear. The decaying, ruined scenery implies that at one time there was a thriving world. Without the decrepit backdrop to initiate the events, the Gothic Novel would not exist.
Who is the 21st century Gothic hero? I like to see him as a man who can be as loving and nurturing as he can be fierce. He makes a rival to be reckoned with in the boardroom, a brave soldier, a virtuous construction worker, and a great daddy. The Gothic Chapter of the RWA compiled the following Gothic hero motivation list (http://www.gothrom.net/articles.html):
· He killed a man in his past.
· His first wife died mysteriously. He knows why, but also knows no one will believe him.
· Or he doesn't know why and believes it might have something to do with him.
· He sired a child who he believes is lost to him forever, either dead, missing, abducted or ill for some arcane reason no doc can diagnose.
· Accidents befall anyone who gets close to him. He doesn't know why, but this has made him a loner.
· Everyone he has ever loved is dead for different reasons, making him feel he is somehow responsible.
· He has a step-relative of some kind who is psychotic.
· He sees ghosts.
· He believes he is responsible for some devilish act because whoever actually did it made it seem the hero was responsible.
· Mysterious incidents, seemingly or actually weird, surround him and those close to him.
· There is a family curse that no one has ever broken.
· There is a history of shape shifting in his family.
· A ghost haunts him, making him afraid he's going crazy because he doesn't believe in ghosts.
· He is hiding someone for what he feels is a good reason, but it isn't.
· He has a malevolent enemy who is either a person he knows or one he doesn't know. Or else this enemy is a supernatural being of some kind.
· He was raised by a monster of a parent, who blamed him for everything going wrong in the father's life and abused him as a result.
· He's scarred physically or emotionally by an accident he thought he was responsible for causing another's death.
· He's involved in work that he can't talk about which makes him seem more mysterious or sinister than he really is.
As for the contemporary Gothic heroine, she is a strong woman who is not afraid to embrace her femininity and sexuality. She can be witty, intelligent, independent, strong-minded, shy, a party-animal, a career girl, or a housewife. Even though she is not perfect, she has a sound set of moral values. She is the kind of woman every gal would love to have as a friend. As in any HEA romance, the Gothic hero and heroine find everlasting love, and all issues are resolved by the turn of the last page.
Gothic novels transmit the joys of extreme emotion, the thrills of fearfulness and the magic of atmosphere. The Seven Forbidden Arts series novels contain the Gothic elements, heroes, settings, ambience and strong emotions described above, placed in a contemporary setting in existing locations, and written with the aim of ultimate entertainment. I am coining the genre goth pop for this new collection of multicultural, fast-paced, action-packed stories of unique setting, passionate emotions and obsessive desires that are frightfully beautiful in their forbidden beauty.
The Goodreads list of the top 10 Gothic novels of all time (https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/1230.Best_Gothic_Books_Of_All_Time):
1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
2. Dracula by Bram Stoker
3. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
4. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
5. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
6. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
7. The Complete Stories and Poems by Edgar Allan Poe
8. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
9. The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
10. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
This book comes in at number 11 but is worth a mention:
Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
About The Author
Charmaine Pauls was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa. She obtained a degree in Communication at the University of Potchestroom, and followed a diverse career path in journalism, public relations, advertising, communications, photography, graphic design, and brand marketing. Her writing has always been an integral part of her professions.
After relocating to France with her French husband, she fulfilled her passion to write creatively full-time. Charmaine has published six novels since 2011, as well as several short stories and articles.
When she is not writing, she likes to travel, read, and rescue cats. Charmaine currently lives in Chile with her husband and children. Their household is a linguistic mélange of Afrikaans, English, French and Spanish.
Read more about Charmaine’s romance novels and psychological short stories here on www.charmainepauls.com.
Contact Charmaine at:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Charmaine-Pauls/175738829145132 Twitter: https://twitter.com/CharmainePauls Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/AuthorCharmainePauls
Enter To Win Throughout The Tour!
The prizes include:
a set of 5 antiqued silver bookmarks,
a paperback copy of Aeromancist
and eBooks of the preceding books in the series:
Loving the Enemy, Pyromancist, and Aeromancist, The Beginning
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